Patients rights and responsibilities

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The Charter of Patient's Rights and Responsibilities
(the "Charter")

The provision of health services to patients in UAE is constantly evolving to provide health care in accordance with the highest quality levels, while taking care to achieve the highest standards in the field of patient satisfaction  and care.  This Charter has been developed to ensure the patient's right and empowerment to support and improve the services provided to the patient.

This Charter includes all the rights enjoyed by the patient during his health service, as well as his responsibilities against the health facility. The rights in its modern concept cannot be realized,   absorbed   or   enforced   without   being   associated   with   the   corresponding responsibilities  that help to give effect to those rights, in a delicate balance between rights and responsibilities, which eventually have positive consequences  for all in terms  of the type and  quality of the health  services available. This  Charter  has been prepared  in a simplified  manner,   reflecting  the  relevant  legislation   and  how  the  message  is  easily communicated  to all segments  of society in order to achieve the required objectives. The patient is intended to be the person receiving the services provided by the health facility.

First: General Principles

  1. Everyone has the right to the protection of his health in the best possible circumstances, without distinction as to religion,  sex, color, age or socio-economic status,  taking into account  the specificity of certain categories of patients whose health status  requires priority to be pledged in accordance with the applicable legislation, such as emergencies, disabled and elderly persons,  children and pregnant women.
  2. Health facilities shall open their doors to all visitors, within the limits of the applicable legislation.
  3. Health  facilities  shall, within  their  means,  ensure   that  patients  are  well  received, accompanied  and provided  with the best  services, while respecting  their rights and freedoms  and alleviating their suffering and pain.
  4. Health  facilities, when  undertaking  emergencies, are obliged to give priority  to  the provision of health services  as required by the health status  of patient,  according to the scientific principles recognized in this field, provided  that administrative  and financial matters will be subsequently settled.
  5. visitors  to know the places and departments  of the health facility. Health facilities shall also provide the means that enable them to submit their proposals for consideration. Health Facilities shall also undertake to study and respond to their observations and complaints.
  6. Health  facilities shall provide  translation  services to  patients  who  are not  able to understand  the attending physician language.
  7. Health  facilities  shall take appropriate  measures  relating to accessibility for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility to their premises and to the services, they provide under the best possible conditions.
  8. Everyone shall acknowledge the patient's  freedom to choose  the health facility he/she wishes  to  deal with  to  access   services, taking into  account  the  special provisions stipulated in the various social security or health insurance systems. 
  9. The patient shall respect his/her responsibilities with regard to the health facility and its personnel and comply with the relevant legislation.
  10. Health facility must deal seriously with patients'  complaints, investigate and provide a written response to the complaint’s outcome.
  11. Health facility shall provide the equipment and take the necessary measures to preserve the patient's property while inside the health facility.
  12. Health facility shall respect the patient's  religious beliefs,  cultural backgrounds and social aspects  and privacy in a manner  consistent  with the  health procedures  required  by his/her  health  status.  The  patient  shall  be entitled to treatment  that ensure his/her respect during physical examination and treatment.

Second:  Patients Right

  • Health facility and health professionals  are obliged to respect the patient's  dignity and must enable the patient to obtain a copy of the Charter, as well as access to service and health care in the choice language by providing an interpreter if required.
  • Health  facilities   are  obliged  to  respect  the  patient's   privacy  and  to   protect   the information    and   data   in   his/her    health   file,  social    status,    confidentiality   of correspondence,    communications     and    amenities   without    inconvenience    and defamation, as required by the applicable legislation.
  • Health  facilities and  health  professionals  work  to  ensure   the  health  protection   of members  of society within the respect  of the basic human  rights and patient  safety receiving their services. 
  • Doctors   and  all health  professionals   are  obliged  to  use  all available means  and possibilities to provide the best possible  and appropriate services for the patient's  health.
  • The right to health services is a basic right of all members  of society, regardless of social status,  within the limits stipulated  by the applicable legislation. 
  • All patients  have the right to be treated, heard and advised by a doctor in the same manner without discrimination.
  • The patient has the right to know the identity of doctor,  attending physicians  or health team with that deals with and to know the scope of their respective work. 
  • Health facilities shall ensure the continuity of health service provision to patient, and the health framework is obligated to follow up on the implementation  of the service initiated as long as the  patient's health status  so requires.
  • Health  facilities shall  ensure  the admission of the patient who visits them to receive their services and,  if unable to do so, ensure that  the patient is admitted to another health facility in which the conditions and requirements for health care are met.
  • Health   framework  takes   into  account  the  risks   that  may  arise   from  prevention, treatment,  detection  or  diagnosis  activities with  constant   concern  to  achieve  the required benefit of the health service provided. 
  • The patient has the right, if he/ she is aware and able to express his/her opinion clearly to refuse  to receive the health service,  taking into account the special  cases stipulated by the applicable legislation.
  • Health facility and its personnel shall respect  the patient's desire and not violate his/her freedom  to  continue  receiving  the  health  service  or  not,   unless  his/her   condition constitutes a threat to him/ her or others or public health.
  • The patient has the right, on his/her  personal  responsibility, to leave the health facility and not to initiate or follow up on the implementation  of the health service specified, subject  to the exceptions  stipulated by the applicable legislation.
  • The patient has the right to be prescribed  treatment,  including treatment procedures, surgical interventions, etc., and the quantities of drug, its side effects and the manner in which it is  used are clearly defined.  The patient has the right to know the reason for undergoing  various examinations  and treatments.  Any action taken when  providing health services is recorded in his/her  health file.
  • The patient has the right to know the nature and severity of his/her  illness and to informed of it unless his/her  interest requires otherwise, or if his/her psychological condition does not permit to be informed, in which case his/her  legal representative must be informed.
  • Health  facility must  perform   the  necessary  laboratory  tests  and  analyses  before performing  the surgery, obtain  the patient's written  consent  to perform  the surgery, inform  him/her  of the possible medical effects and complications,  and know the full expenses of the health services before commencing any procedures.
  • The patient has the right to obtain detailed invoices in financial amounts  for all services provided by the health facility.
  • The patient has the right to obtain educational guidance commensurate with his/her age, level of understanding, awareness and care. 
  • The patient  has the right to know be informed  of the nature and severity of his/her illness, and expectations of any other diseases or infecting others,  unless his/her interest requires otherwise, or if his/her psychological condition does not permit him/her  to be informed. In this case the legal representative must be informed, and health knowledge and awareness must be provided to patients and their families to make decisions on the treatment plan and participate in the health care provided.
  • The  physician  shall provide  the  patient  in  a  simple  and  understandable   language information  related  to his/her  illness,  the course  of treatment  and development  of health condition, taking into account the difficulty of understanding and dialogue when dealing with certain categories of patient (children, psychiatric patients and the elderly).

It Shall be informed as follows:

  • During the clinic or during a special session  for the purpose.
  • While staying in  the health facility.
  • Upon leaving the health facility, to urge him/her to continue treatment, take preventive measures and avoid complications that could disrupt health condition.

The patient has the right to be informed of the following:

  • Various  examinations,  proposed  treatments and necessary preventive services.
  • The benefits and estimated cost of the proposed course of treatment in advance.
  • The urgency of implementing the proposed health services to be provided.
  • The expected results  from the proposed  health service.
  • Possible alternatives to the proposed health service.
  • The expected results in case of refusal the health services.
  • Reasons for his/her transfer from a health facility is another.

The doctor may be exempted from providing information to the patient in emergencies, or incase the patient refuses to know such information, or when his/her interest so requires.

  • The  patient's   consent   must  be obtained,   with  conviction,  for the  health  service in advance,  subject  to the exceptions specified  by law.
  • The  right  to  consent  to  the  health  service belongs  to  the patient  or  his/her legal representative if the patient is incapacitated or restricted.
  • Before carrying out a medical experiment on any person,  his/her written consent must be obtained after being informed  of the experiment purpose, manner and duration, in addition to the undesirable effects it may have, and in any event the conditions  and controls  specified in the applicable legislation must be adhered to.
  • Personal health information and data are owned by the patient and protected within the scope of the preservation of the medical confidentiality, which can only be disclosed to third parties under the patient's permission or in cases required by law.
  • The doctor must inform the patient of information  and data related to his/her  health and not maintain medical confidentiality except in accordance with the conditions and incases stipulated in the applicable legislation.
  • A family, a relative or a person who enjoys the patient's  trust appointed for this purpose may be notified, when a serious development of his/her health condition is expected, unless the patient has prevented in advance.

Third: Patients’ Responsibilities 

The patient, against the above-mentioned rights, shall respect the following responsibilities:

  • To respect  the doctor independence  to assess and determine the appropriate treatment for his/her  health condition.
  • To accept the methods of prevention and treatment and the prescribed means for that.
  • To comply with the treatment team recommendations,  to carry out the required timely examinations, and to take the drugs prescribed.
  • To ensure the hygiene rules of the health facility and personal hygiene are respected. 
  • To  comply with the requirements  of the health  facility internal  system  in which the service is provided.
  • To  respect  the measures  taken by the Department  within  the health  facility and  to comply with its applicable regulations.
  • To respect the facility's health professionals and have good morals in dealing with them.
  • To preserve  the health facility's  property, including buildings, equipment, etc..
  • To respect the conditions of admission, residence and departure applicable to the health facility.
  • To present appearance the required administrative and personal documents (documents that  prove  identity  and  any  other  document  required  by  the  patient  undertaking procedures in the health facility).
  • In the event of refusal to receive the health service or to remain in the facility and to insist on leaving it without medical consent, the patient or his/her legal representative must sign a document that proves  the health service refusal or stay in the health facility in order to discharge and exempt the health facility and its legal responsibility from any consequences.  In the event that the patient or his/her  legal representative  refuses to sign this document, an official report  of the event was written signed by the facility's doctor and administrative officer. This is recorded in the facility's observation record.
  • To pay the health facility's  dues or to present  in advance a certificate of bearing the expenses  provided by the social security or health insurance institution.
  • The  patient  is  obligated to  comply with his/ her responsibilities   towards  the health facility and its employees. If the patient fails to comply with his/her  responsibilities and exceeds the rules and controls specified  under the applicable legislation in force in the country, the health facility may use the competent authority.